Pulling it Off: Chocolate, Toilet Paper and Bubbles

Hannah Yakobi is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist. Throughout her career, she has written for the National Post, OK! Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, Canwest newspaper network and dozens of publications around the world. Currently, she is the Editor-in-Chief of FAJO Magazine, a Canadian publication with staff in Canada, U.S. and U.K.

While thinking about the topic for this week’s column, I started reflecting back on some of the most unusual dresses I have seen this far in my career.

I remember reading the newspaper about 15 years ago, and flipping through the pages until I noticed a photo essay, titled This Week in Photos. One of the pictures was particularly startling and made my eyes widen and my eyebrows pop high – it was a picture of a dress by renowned Spanish designer Paco Rabanne and it was made from…chocolate.

Several thoughts flew through my mind while I stared at the photo – how did the model get into this dress? Is it going to melt on her? Are the models going to have a party backstage after the show and eat the dress, or is it going to be preserved…somehow?

Naturally, seeing a chocolate-made dress was a big surprise but not a big shock. Designers have long focused on creating prêt-à-porter collections as well as exclusive haute couture lines. As many know, the former is primarily focused on daily wear, whereas the latter is all about “high fashion” and allows designers to go “as crazy as possible” while truly manifesting their creative self.

I have seen clothing made from only gloves, zippers, bubbles, porcelain, duct tape and even a real electric circuit (hope the model wasn’t mildly electrocuted while wearing it!).

Some of these “fabric substitutes” may sound bizarre, but in most cases the outfits end up looking utterly spectacular.

Speaking of spectacular, yesterday I attended an exclusive behind-the-scenes photoshoot for the White Cashmere Collection 2012: Fashion with CompassionTM. This is a unique event, held on an annual basis, and it brings together some of Canada’s top established and emerging designers, who create one-of-a-kind haute couture dresses from Cashmere toilet paper!

The pieces were truly memorable – I always greatly enjoy these previews and the actual show, because they showcase an incredible craftsmanship of Canadian designers.

This year, the creations range from bridal and evening wear to jewelry and footwear. The event is curated by renowned Canadian fashion designer Farley Chatto.

This fashion presentation is truly unique not only to Canada but the world. If you have ever passed by The Bay on Queen Street in Toronto, you may have seen some of the dresses on display. They are colourful, they are stunning and they are really done with heart. In fact, the collection supports the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and its vision of a future without breast cancer. Since its debut in 2004, it has featured 87 top Canadian designers. This year’s show heralds the annual return of the limited edition Pink Cashmere, with 25 cents from the sale of every package going directly to the cause, throughout the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Look out for the pink and white glamour this fall!

Photo from last year’s Cashmere fashion show by Kalynn Friesen, FAJO Magazine